This book is the reason I don’t shop at bookstores anymore.
So there I was, in a Book-a-Million, just window shopping and wanting to kill time when I kept repeatedly being asked if I needed help and being looked at by the sales reps as if I was a suspicious character. To prove that no, I was not going to steal something, I bought a book. This book.
(On second thought, I doubt they thought I was going to steal something. They probably thought I was lost. Why is this girl frowning at all the books like she doesn’t trust them?)
I guess I picked it because of all the hype and the fact it had already sold movie rights (and I think, in fact, that Emma Watson has already signed on? I don’t know. I need to fact check this).
But it’s supposed to be set in the future. A dystopia where, in the said future, everything is pretty medieval and there is magic. I was curious as to how that would work. I thought maybe there was a whole “history repeats itself” concept going to be thrown in there.
It takes 50 pages in and THEN you get the sense that yes, this is really our world—I think by the fact that “London” is mentioned? I don’t even remember.
Oh, that and the fact the MC’s name is “Kelsea.” Which would be a strange name for a feudal-era woman to have. Probably. I don’t know. I’m no historian. That’s about it.
So, upon realizing this book really isn’t what it said it was going to be…
I stopped reading.
Really, this was just an epic fantasy trying to be original by saying, “No, no, this is our world. And—and the future! Plot twist!!!” Except what I read really made that seem like a lie.
Other issues: Too many characters thrown in at first. No action. Just loooong drawn out passages. No real explanation of what the hell I’m reading. And, wasn’t there supposed to be magic? Show me the fucking magic. And the rules behind it.
And let’s not glaze over the arch-stereotype of “orphan living with foster parents in the secluded place.” Think Star Wars, Eragon, whatever. Just the girl version. I wanted to blow my brains out.
If this story gets better, please convince me. I don’t want to have wasted $13.
Fifty pages was my tipping point.
As of now, I’m pretty sure Johansen only got published because she went to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She’s either rich or has connections. By “she became and attorney” in the bio, I’m guessing that is probably synonymous with “literary agent” in some way. No wonder there were already movie rights.
P.S. Let’s talk about how all the 5-star ratings from this book come from white girls.
Other reviews I agree with: